US carmakers in record China sales, despite market fall

General Motors HQ US carmakers are showing sign of a resurgence after the industry went through a crisis in 2009

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General Motors and Ford reported record car sales in China for 2011, despite a slowdown in the market in that country.

GM said sales of its vehicles and those of its Chinese partners rose 8.3% during the year to a record high of 2.5 million cars.

Ford saw sales rise by 7% to 519,390 vehicles.

Car sales in China skyrocketed in 2010, in part due to government incentives, but have moderated in 2011.

Gaining ground?

The US carmakers have benefited from releasing a range of new models into the Chinese market.

GM also expects growth in China this year to be better than in 2011, and plans to take more market share.

"We picked up considerable share in China in 2011 and we expect we'll do similarly in 2012 because we have a lot of launches," said Tim Lee, president of GM's international operations speaking to reporters at the Detroit motor show.

The company said its market share in China rose to 13.6% last year, up from 12.7% in 2010.

GM received a $50bn (£32bn) bailout from the US government in 2009, a time when other US carmakers were struggling as well.

But analysts said GM and others have since seen a resurgence, in part due to revenue from China.

However, it has been a tough year for Japanese car companies after the earthquake and tsunami in March, as well as the floods in Thailand, affected production.

Honda Motors on Monday reported its first ever annual decline in exports to China.

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